Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tips for Becoming an Early Riser

First and foremost, wishing you guys a safe and happy Memorial Day!

This past winter, I went through a phase of waking up at 5AM to write. Also, during my last round of revisions, I was wide awake and at my desk by 4AM. The only way I get true alone time is when I'm awake before the birds or when I stay up half the night.

Lately, I’ve turned into a night owl. The idea of waking up that early again causes me physical pain, y'all. There is not an UGH loud enough to express my displeasure for that 5AM on my alarm. But the late nights are harsh when my kid averages a 6AM wake-up, so I’m working my way back into early-riser status. And in case any of you guys may be considering the early wake-up, I figured I’d pass along a few tips for easing into it.

- Go to bed earlier. The obvious one, right? Except it’s not always so easy. I would suggest cutting out electronics at least an hour before bed (eReaders, computers, even your phone). Caffeine can also keep you wide awake (well, duh). My personal rule is no caffeine after 3PM (which means farewell to my 5PM coffee breaks).

- Set your clothes out the night before. Also, shower at night if you’re able.

- Prepare your breakfast the night before. Your body needs good food to function properly (another farewell to my beloved Pop-Tarts and Lucky Charms). You can whip up a bowl of overnight oats (plain oats that soak in almond milk overnight) to grab on the way to your desk. Whole-wheat muffins are another favorite. Pair it with an apple and glass of water (and COFFEE), and your brain will thank you. I promise.

- Coffee’s the nectar of the gods, but DRINK WATER too. Hydration doesn’t just make you feel better – your brain truly needs it. It’s science.

- Have something happy at your desk/writing space. I have a patch of inspirational quotes posted above my computer. I drink from cute cups and coffee mugs because life needs a little bit of sparkle. I also turn on my writing playlist because music is one of the greatest motivators ever. A fun spot makes work more enjoyable.

- Along with the music: DANCE PARTIES. Find a 4-minute song and dance your heart out. If that doesn’t wake you up, I don’t know what will. Also, celebrate the small victories with a quick dance party! This method is Revision Warriors-approved.

- When all else fails, and what I'll be doing for a few days: Fake it 'til you make it.


  1. Dance party!!! *hangs a disco ball* These are great tips! I'm a chronic night owl, buuuut if I ever have to make the switch, I'll definitely try these tips. I'm going to make the overnight oats too. YUM! :)

  2. I'm with Diane -- DANCE PARTY! WHOOP. I love your words - always helpful tips that make me smile. Coffee cups to add some sparkle? Seriously - that's awesome. It is truly the 'small' things in life that make me step back and think how wonderfully grateful and blessed I am. And I'm totally doing the overnight oatmeal. :)

  3. I've been slipping on the AM writing too! Is it springtime that causes those inner night owls to stir? This line if yours:
    "The idea of waking up that early again causes me physical pain, y'all."

    Yes. I'm right there. But you are inspiring me. I MUST try these overnight oats. And I'm so looking forward to the look on my cat's face when I bust some early AM dance moves. :) But I'm not very light on my feet so maybe I'll just Vogue or something so I don't wake any kiddos. Thanks for this wonderful post!